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How to Be a Legendary Designer: Lessons From Robert Couturier

We just caught a glimpse of the May issue of Elle Decor in which the much-anticipated feature on the NYC home of famed interior designer Robert Couturier takes front and center. Couturier, dressed for the shoot in his usual dapper garb, plays every bit the part of the seasoned designer whose client roster so happens to include the likes of Anne Hearst, Frederic Fekkai, and Jay McInerney. And when push comes to shove, there's no better guy than a suit-clad French-born industry veteran to impart valuable lessons about how to create the sort of lifestyle that has a high chance, statistically speaking, of grooming the next generation of aspiring interior designers. We've pulled some handy advice from the 10-page feature; consider it CliffNotes, of sorts. Here goes:

10: Be born in Paris, and preferably in the 1950s when it "was very much still a 19th-century town" with "dressmaker[s] who made your clothes." Always be nostalgic for these times, even in the age of online shopping.
9: Move to Manhattan at age 25. Gloss over the details of how you paid for things.

8: Live in the kind of structure that takes five words to describe: "Italianate cast-iron loft building." (Always use these words, and always in this order.)
7: Scatter an eclectic grouping of furnishings ranging from Louis XIV to Art Deco.
6: Bunk in a famous hotel for a while as you figure things out—bonus points for being located on NYC's Upper East Side.
5: Eschew the very notion of ever using your kitchen; instead, strongly affirm the fact that you dine out four nights of the week and travel every weekend. It's a lifestyle thing.
4: Make sure there's no separation between living and working space—extra credit if the bedroom and office are a "single chic space." Double extra credit if said space includes a zebra-patterned sofa, a '30s desk, and a daybed that's actually the main bed.
3: Have insomnia.
2: Have a "Franco-American lifestyle," most certainly.
1: Finally, always be an "uptown gentleman," even if living downtown.

· Robert Couturier Will Be Featured in Elle Decor [Curbed National]
· All Elle Decor coverage [Curbed National]